08-03-09 - How to Reply to Emails

Yet another in the ongoing cbloom.com feature : Teaching You Fucking Tards How to do the Most Basic Life Tasks Correctly.

(I'm not even going to talk about the classic amusing blunders like the "reply-all" when you are trying to reply to just one person on the mail).

When someone sends out a detailed email with multiple points in it, like




You don't just hit "reply" and then randly write a stream of goop. You also don't just reply to only point A or point A & C or whatever. The correct way to reply is :

quote :
[ A ]

Reply to A

[ B ]

Reply to B

[ C ]

Reply to C

Furthermore, if the points A, B & C were very long, you should not quote the entire thing, but rather abreviate them, either using cut and ellipsis, or by extracting just the specific sentences you need to reply to, but you should leave enough context that it's clear what you're replying to.

Finally if there are multiple people on the email, make sure it's clear who you are quoting. A lot of emailers will automatically insert something like :

you wrote :
[ A ]

which is quite useless when there are many people on the mail. You should go in and manually delete the word "you" and change it to the name of the writer :

Douchey McDickWad wrote :
[ A ]

(I'm imagining the NBC "the more you know" thing going by, but instead it says "I shouldn't have to tell you this" or "you fucking tard").

I'm really sick of sending someone an email like : "can you tell me about X? also what's this thing Y? and furthermore Z". And I get a reply that's just like "blah blah Y blah blah Y blah". Uh, hello? What about X and Z ? Fucking compose your email.

In other "people fucking suck" news : my bike has been sitting in the shop done for a few days and they never called me. I finally called in and the person gave me a bunch of attitude, I was like "is my bike done?" and they were like "well, did we call you?", and then lo and behold it was done and they were like "oh".

In "people are rad" news, I went to 2020 Cycles (I was avoiding it because it seems ever so precious and hipster, and because Sharp said they did bad to his bike (if you've eaten recently, don't follow that link, because it's the most nauseating hipster bullshit you will ever see; oh yeah, we're a bike shop, but we have indie music shows and we cultivate community and have local artists and fucking vegan coop hand-knit bicycle seats and we all wear american apparel and grease your ball bearings with the grime from our bodies! yeah!) ); anyway, they pulled my bottom bracket while I waited, and charged me only $5 for it, and they were super nice and helpful and friendly and knowledgeable. Fucking Recycled Cycles charges $20 for every little service thing, no matter how trivial. (a fucking bottom bracket lockring spanner is yet another obscure tool I don't have; hopefully this is the last of those problems. Every time I try to do anything crafty, be it woodworking or working on my car or bike, I always run into instructions like "now use your rotary mitering lathe bit with the quadrangle star attachment on your half wilsonized wall-mount jig saw" and I'm like WTF I don't have that shit this is ridiculous).

Also : the new Surly Gourmand is a riot.

I�m sure some people really like Perche� No, but those people are probably retarded.


Sam said...

We have to use Outlook at work in HTML mode and it is the biggest pile of steaming shit. It basically encourages people to top post. Grr I hate it!

brian said...

I reply to all your emails to me in exactly the format you deride, and I am proud of it. In fact, reading this post made me laugh aloud here in Zoka, in a hearty self-satisfied belly-laugh kind of way.

Also, this will all be irrelevant when Wave takes over all computer-based communications, since it makes it easy to insert replies inline and tracks them in a way that isn't shit like bare text email, or God help us, RTF email with every awful client out there.

cbloom said...

I scowl at your email formatting and have to console myself with delicious French Bakery croissants.

brian said...

Well, I'm at Zoka right now, enjoying superior coffee. Bwahahaha!

As for 2020, here's my experience: I brought my new, unridden fixie and said "Please make it a flip-flop singlespeed, flip the handlebars and cut them to bullhorns, put on fenders, put on cheap brakes." I also brought my road bike. "I haven't ridden this in months, please just give it a basic tune-up."

Later, when they said it'd be done, I picked up my singlespeed. The handlebars were cut super-short, like so short they don't hold well at all, and they didn't bother to call and ask. The brakes they put on squeal like a motherfucker in the back. I was underwhelmed.

Oh yeah, and they went significantly over their cited budget, which sucks because it's a cheap bike and I asked for cheap parts and they still underestimated by like $50 because it was like "Oh, we didn't write down that you wanted an 18-tooth rear gear, so that means a new chain, we didn't think of that." Stuff like that.

Oh yeah, and they had just forgotten about my road bike, I asked about it and they were like "What?" Then I found it in the back and they were like "Shit, we haven't done that yet, because it's dirty and we clean bikes as part of a tune-up, hmm, guess we didn't see the work order since it was stapled underneath the singlespeed one. We'll have it done by tomorrow."

I picked it up tomorrow and they had not cleaned the bike at all (crust of dead insects on seat from driving cross-country) but moreover, as they delivered it, my front derailleur didn't shift into the largest gear anymore, and they had apparently loosened it on the frame and not tightened it adequately so it slipped over time and was impossible to adjust.

By contrast, Kirkland Bike Shop for like $30 gave my bike a tune up to repair the 2020 tune up, including multiple visits to keep diagnosing the front derailleur thing (they initially missed that it was loose.)

Then I had them replace my bottom bracket, crankset and gears, rear cassette, chain, cables and housing to make the bike a compact double, using parts I'd been quoted a price over $700 for, all in, by a good bike shop in Austin. They quoted me like $600, and then took a week too long because they didn't notice a part was backordered. They apologized and ended up charging me $430 total, so I assume they just dropped labor charges entirely. And their work has been perfect.

Naturally maybe I got really unlucky with 2020. The dude working there when I first brought the bikes in was super-cute in a hipster way, so I was actually pretty hopeful about them, but alas, even his doe-eyed looks aren't enough to make me want to subject myself to that again.

cbloom said...

Well that story is even worse than what I knew. But yeah I knew it was bad which is why I was surprised they were so cool. Of course they did give me a cute hipster girl to service my bike; maybe they autodetect your gender & orientation and supply you with a pleasing mechanic.

old rants